A potentially expensive aspect of many companies is that of forms processing. It can be extremely costly to employ a team of workers to read through a stack of forms and enter the information from each one manually, field by field, into your computer system. However, for many companies this is a necessary process. Any business handling large volumes of paper forms should think about finding ways to cut down on the time and money spent on this process to make their business more efficient.
The best way to go about this is to get a forms processing service. This involves getting a third party to process all of your forms for you, getting the task out of the office which can be extremely distracting for staff, especially if you don’t have a specialist team to tackle them and they must be dealt with on a case by case basis by normal team members.
The technology involved in the forms processing system is very sophisticated. It scans handwritten documents to lift the information out of each box and transfers it into designated fields on a digital system. The technology is designed to recognise specific letters and words, and was developed using thousands of handwriting samples to teach it how to recognise characters written in a vast variety of ways.
This is a significantly faster way to get information from a hard copy onto a screen, and you don’t need to worry about human error. Whereas a human who is not trained might misinterpret what certain words say, the forms processing system has been programmed to recognise all sorts of handwriting styles, so is very unlikely to make mistakes which can be highly inconvenient to rectify. Mistakes also look unprofessional when clients discover you have the wrong information about them, and it makes them question your entire business.
Not all admin tasks can be streamlined efficiently, and some of them are unfortunately here to stay as the necessary evils of the office. However, this doesn’t always need to be the case, and any way you can find to streamline the admin process in your office should be fully embraced to minimise time wasted on tasks which could be done in half the time. That is why if your company deals with large numbers of hard copy forms, it might be worth considering delegating the task to a third party specialising in the rapid transfer of information to make your office work much more efficiently.
John Easter is a business productivity adviser who helps businesses with future planning strategies to maximise workplace efficiency